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Medicare IVIG Access Demonstration Project Bill Introduced

IDF President and Founder Marcia Boyle with Rep. Matsui on IDF Advocacy Day 2010

Medicare IVIG Access Demonstration Project Bill Introduced

The work of the IDF Advocacy Day volunteers has paid off as Congresswoman Doris Matsui (D-CA) has introduced HR 5597, the Medicare Patient IVIG Access Demonstration Project with 7 bipartisan original co-sponsors: Rep. Kevin Brady (R-Texas), Rep. Chris Van Hollen (D-Maryland), Rep. Lee Terry (R-Nebraska), Rep. Bobby Rush (D-Illinois), Rep. Jim Gerlach (R-Pennsylvania), Rep. Bruce Braley (D-Iowa), and Rep. Joseph Pitts (R-Pennsylvania).  All of the co-sponsors of HR 5597 are a result of meetings on Advocacy Day with IDF volunteers.  And with your help, we expect others to join as co-sponsors now that HR 5597 has been introduced!

IDF thanks Congresswoman Matsui for her dedication and commitment to solving the problem Medicare beneficiaries have in obtaining their IVIG therapy in the home setting.

Write to your Representative

You can help us gain more co-sponsors by contacting your Representative using the IDF Action Alert, sending an email to your Representative asking him/her to be a co-sponsor of HR 5597 and explaining why you are so concerned.

Demonstration Project Provision

HR 5597 establishes a Medicare demonstration project that would enroll up to 4,000 Medicare beneficiaries who are patients with primary immunodeficiency diseases (PIDD) and allow for payment for IVIG therapy in the home setting.  While Medicare will pay for immunoglobulin (IgG) in the home setting, current law forbids Medicare from reimbursing for nursing services and other items necessary for infusing in the home making the current benefit hollow and inaccessible to most Medicare beneficiaries.

Obstacles to Care Study Provisions

In addition to the home infusion provision, the bill also requires the Department of Health and Human Services (HHS) to analyze and issue a report to Congress regarding other IVIG problem access issues which have become obstacles to immunoglobulin therapy to all IVIG patients whether they be patients with PIDD or other disease and chronic conditions.

HHS must provide an analysis of the appropriateness of implementing a new methodology for payment for intravenous immune globulins in all care settings.  They would also be required to provide an analysis of the feasibility of reducing the lag time with respect to data used to determine the average sales price of immune globulins.  And HHS would be required to update the 2007 report entitled ‘‘Analysis of Supply, Distribution, Demand, and Access Issues Associated with Immune Globulin Intravenous (IGIV)’’, issued in February 2007 by the Office of the Assistant Secretary for Planning and Evaluation of the Department of Health and Human Services.

To learn more about the specifics of the bill, check out the IDF Advocacy Center page on Medicare Patient IVIG Access.

Act Now Via the IDF Action Alert

Tell your Representative that you support IVIG access for all patients with PIDD - Use the IDF Action Alert to ask your Representative to co-sponsor and actively support HR 5597!

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Just to let everyone know, we are up to 12 cosponsors thanks to all of IDF Volunteers' letters, calls, and emails! Without active volunteers, none of this would be possible! COSPONSORS(12): Rep Blackburn, Marsha [TN-7] - 7/13/2010 Rep Brady, Kevin [TX-8] - 6/24/2010 Rep Braley, Bruce L. [IA-1] - 6/24/2010 Rep Gerlach, Jim [PA-6] - 6/24/2010 Rep Kildee, Dale E. [MI-5] - 7/13/2010 Rep Marshall, Jim [GA-8] - 7/13/2010 Rep McGovern, James P. [MA-3] - 7/1/2010 Rep Pitts, Joseph R. [PA-16] - 6/24/2010 Rep Rush, Bobby L. [IL-1] - 6/24/2010 Rep Schwartz, Allyson Y. [PA-13] - 7/13/2010 Rep Terry, Lee [NE-2] - 6/24/2010 Rep Van Hollen, Chris [MD-8] - 6/24/2010